Former Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton, left, pleads guilty Monday in Clay County to a felony methamphetamine possession charge. He will not serve any jail time and his attorney Rod Ray, right, said the felony could one day be removed from Hamilton's record. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
July 11, 2017 10:40:11 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
Oktibbeha County's circuit clerk pleaded guilty to felony possession of methamphetamine Monday in Clay County Circuit Court.
As part of his plea, Glenn Hamilton, 61, will serve one year supervised probation, as well as pay a $1,000 fine and $500 in restitution to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
His attorney, Rod Ray of Columbus, said his client's probation is non-adjudicated, meaning it does not make Hamilton a convicted felon. If Hamilton meets all the standards of his probation, he said, the case will be dismissed in a year.
Still, Hamilton must step down from his post as circuit clerk due to his plea. Board of Supervisors President Orlando Trainer said supervisors will likely appoint an interim clerk during their recess meeting next Monday and add the circuit clerk's race to a special election already scheduled for November. In the meantime, he said County Administrator Emily Garrard will oversee operations in the circuit clerk's office.
Trainer said he was disappointed to see Hamilton's career end as it did.
"It's very unfortunate that he had to retire under these circumstances," Trainer said. "At the same time, we pray for him and his family and I wish him well."
Hamilton was arrested in north Clay County on June 17, 2016, for misdemeanor trespassing and misdemeanor possession of Native American artifacts, as well as for felony possession of methamphetamine.
Clay County deputies also arrested 59-year-old Rufus Edward Lewis on the same charges. Lewis is scheduled for trial before Circuit Judge Lee Howard on July 27.
Hamilton's case was initially pushed back to determine whether the amount of methamphetamine he had warranted a felony or misdemeanor charge.
Possession of less than .1 gram of methamphetamine is misdemeanor, while having more of the drug is a felony.
A Clay County grand jury formally indicted Hamilton for one count of possession of methamphetamine in October 2016. The charge carries a sentence of up to eight years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
According to Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott, Hamilton had methamphetamine on his person while a container of the drug was allegedly found on the ground near Lewis.
Hamilton was first elected circuit clerk in 2012 and won re-election last year. He previously served as a state senator from 1996 to 2004 and was appointed chairman for the Mississippi State Parole Board by former Gov. Haley Barbour in 2004. He served in that post until 2008.
Retired Judge Robert Elliott of Tippah County fielded Hamilton's plea and rendered his sentence Monday. Elliott was appointed to the case in light of Hamilton's position with the 16th Circuit Court.
1. Story of Columbus teen on death row airs on Headline News COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. A house to love: The Haven, historic downtown home, passes to new ownership COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Future of Ryan's uncertain COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Restaurant tax: Smith, Younger agree on reducing restaurant tax floor COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. SFD investigating Walmart fire as arson STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY